By: Caroline Kupchella, Co-Founder, The Indika Alliance
After spending hours escaping the cold with your preschooler, here are some fresh ideas to keep your little one active and outside during the winter months. These activities will teach children a wide range of skills, including fine and gross motor skills, strategic thinking strategies, and ways to unleash a creative outlet. It also decreases the amount of screen time for your child, which is key for healthy development.
Take a walk with your toddler to explore the great outdoors. Before you head outside, try and create a list of things for them to find. The list can be made up of things like twigs, different shaped leaves, finding new tracks in the snow, collecting unique rocks, or picking out certain colors for them to find such as “find something green.”
Make a Pinecone Bird Feeder
Making a bird feeder using a pine cone, peanut butter, some bird seed and a string is an easy way for kids to learn about birds that stick around during the winter. In order to make this, first tie a string around the pine cone. Then, mix peanut butter, cornmeal and oats together and spread the mixture in the pine cone. Sprinkle on some bird seed until the pinecone is covered. Finally, hang the pine cone outside and watch as the wildlife come to visit!
Coloring in the Snow
Whether you’re trying to practice writing letters and numbers with your toddler or just looking for a new way to get their creative juices flowing, getting them outside to color in the snow is sure to be a hit. To do this, fill an old spray bottle with water and some food coloring and spray into the snow!
Blow Frozen Bubbles
This trick will leave your toddlers amazed. When the temperatures are below freezing, try heading outside to watch bubbles crystalize right in front of your eyes. To do so, make sure your bubble solution is slightly cooler than room temperature before you begin blowing them. Then, once you blow your bubble, try and catch it on the bubble wand. Be patient, because the bubble won’t freeze immediately. Depending on the temperature, it can take several seconds or even a minute for the bubble to completely freeze.
Try playing tic-tac-toe in the snow! With a stick, draw out a board and use twigs and pinecones as “x” and “o.” Once your toddler gets three in a row—they’ve won! This game is helpful in developing strategic thinking strategies in children.
What outdoor activities have you done with your child this winter?